STATEWIDE –- “So far this year, collisions with wildlife has increased 5.5% around the state,” warned Trooper Josh Lewis with the Colorado State Patrol. “Nighttime hours after 8 p.m. through the six a.m. hour seem to be highest times for these vehicle and animal interactions.”
The state patrol would like to remind the public of 2 critical, life-saving motorist practices–driving the speed limit and utilizing high beams when not around other motorists when traveling in a rural area or neighborhoods near open spaces.
“The worst choice you can make is to swerve outside your lane or slam on your brakes with vehicles behind you,” said Trooper Lewis. “People can end up in serious crashes when they let their emotions take over to save Bambi or his friends.”
If you have time and space when spotting a wild animal in the roadway, you can sound your horn and slow down in a straight line, coming to a stop. If you have little time and distance and no one is behind you, you can brake hard in a straight line. However, if there is little time and you have traffic behind you, the right choice is to drive through, keeping in the lane, but with a slight angle towards the butt of the animal ONLY if by the white side lane line. DO NOT swerve or jerk the wheel as this can create a more dangerous situation.
Certain seasons and time frames in various areas can be worse than others for risk of animal strikes. While no one wants to harm an animal, causing a more serious crash with oncoming traffic or vehicles behind you can lead to serious human injury and death.